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Historic England Research Records

Gallery Tower And Tiltyard

Hob Uid: 1527846
Location :
Warwickshire
Warwick
Kenilworth
Grid Ref : SP2801072080
Summary : The site of the Gallery tower overlooking the Tiltyard. The fragmentary remains of the rectangular Gallery Tower lie close to the modern day ticket office at Kenilworth Castle. It had a courtyard and would have acted as a gatehouse guarding the southern end of the dam which contained the large defensive lake. Its name derives from remodelling in the 16th century by John Dudley (Duke of Northumberland) as a viewing gallery for tournaments. The tournaments were held on top of the dam which was widened to make it suitable for jousting; this area became known as the 'tiltyard'.
More information : The site of the Gallery tower overlooking the Tiltyard. The fragmentary remains of the Gallery Tower lie close to the modern day ticket office at Kenilworth Castle. It had a courtyard and would have acted as a gatehouse guarding the southern end of the dam which contained the large defensive lake. Its name derives from remodelling in the 16th century as a viewing gallery for tournaments. The tournaments were held on top of the dam which was widened to make it suitable for jousting; this area became known as the 'tiltyard'.
A survey of the castle made when Robert Dudley took possession in 1563 indicates it was the Duke of Northumberland, John Dudely (Robert Dudley's father) who created the tiltyard in its present form. (1)

Scheduled. At the dam's southern end are the standing remains of the rectangular Gallery Tower which was erected to defend this end of the dam. In the 16th century it was converted into an observation gallery for tournament spectators. (2)

The are lies within a Registered Park and Garden. Adjacent to the bridge stand the remains of the Gallery Tower, a rectangular structure which was converted in the C16 to serve as a stand for tournaments held on the dam, which is today known as the Tiltyard. (3)

A small excavation was undertaken within the Gallery Tower in February 2004 by English Heritage, following on from a geophysical survey in 2003. The geophysical survey indicated potentially complex archaeology on the site, and this combined with the results of two test pits excavated as part of the bridge construction scheme in 1990, led to the excavation of a single trench along the main axis of the tower. The results indicated that the intended occupation surface of the tower was most likely at the turf level (around 82.20 mAOD) or higher. Rough stonework revealed below a step in the tower wall, and was not intended to be seen, and so was either buried during construction or hidden by a now removed floor. No evidence was found for internal cross walls, suggesting the tower was either floored and roofed with single large spans, or that it might have been an open courtyard space with an earthen or paved floor. The excavations did not however investigate the lower levels of the archaeological deposits so evidence may still survive below the limit of excavation. A 17th century or earlier levelling layer filled the interior of the tower. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Kenilworth Castle (English Heritage Guidebooks)
Source details :
Page(s) : 5, 46
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Warwick, 04-JAN-1996
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Warwick, 28-FEB-1986
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Centre for Archaeology Report series
Source details : 'Kenilworth Castle Gallery Tower Evaluation: Archive summary report', by Thomas Cromwell
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 39/2004

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1120
Monument Type : Tower, Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Tudor
Monument End Date : 1563
Monument Start Date : 1553
Monument Type : Tower, Tiltyard, Courtyard
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Warwickshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 9923
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21576
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Register of Parks and Gardens Legacy No.
External Cross Reference Number : GD1472
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 27 SE 79
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 333875
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : GALLERY TOWER, KENILWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH CASTLE GALLERY TOWER
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31